NTSB releases preliminary report from Dallas air show crash


(NewsNation) — A new report from federal investigators sheds some light on what happened before an airplane crash at a Dallas air show last month, and says there had been no coordination of altitudes.

An official cause for the crash has still not been given.

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra crashed to the ground in a ball of flames at the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show at the Dallas Executive Airport in November.

Six people were killed.

According to the audio of the Wings over Dallas show, the air boss was directing the planes to the performance area and told the fighter formation to fly at 500 feet from where the audience was lined up at Dallas Executive Airport. The bomber formation was directed to fly at 1,000 feet from the audience viewing area.

“There were no altitude deconflictions briefed before the flight or while the airplanes were in the air,” the report said. “When the fighter formation approached the flying display area, the P-63F was in a left bank and it collided with the left side of the B-17G, just aft of the wing section.”

NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss said the agency is now trying to determine the sequence of maneuvers that led to the crash, as well as whether such air shows normally have altitude deconfliction plans.

Organizers of the show said in a statement that they are continuing to work with the National Transportation Safety Board. That agency’s investigation, though, could take up to a year and a half.

The Commemorative Air Force previously identified the victims as: Terry Barker, Craig Hutain, Kevin “K5” Michels, Dan Ragan, Leonard “Len” Root and Curt Rowe. Hank Coates, CEO of Commemorative Air Force, said all six men were volunteers who had gone through a strict process of logging hours and training flights. They were vetted carefully, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In this photo provided by Larry Petterborg, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collide in midair during an airshow at Dallas Executive Airport in Dallas, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (Larry Petterborg via AP)

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